A few readers wanted to know why we were looking into the background of candidates.
Some voters believe that the character of individuals running for office matters as much as their stance on issues.
One way to judge character is to determine how they have lived their lives.
Every election, we run background checks on all candidates. We check for bankruptcies, civil court cases, criminal charges and police reports. We find out if they have held the offices they claim to have held. When possible, we check the college degrees they list.
Usually voters don’t notice the background checks because we don’t find that much.
During the primary we found that two legislative candidates had financial problems. We reported on both.
During the general election, we recently reported on one candidate who had two DUIs, 59 housing code violations, one bankruptcy and seven women who had filed police reports complaining about his behavior.
We’re not the only ones delving into backgrounds. Political parties sometimes do opposition research. And this election a few candidates — or friends of candidates — have used private investigators to check into the backgrounds of opponents.
Our job is to provide information about the candidates. Whether any of that information matters is up to the voters.